Florida Southern to hold spring commencement
LAKELAND, Fla. (April 16, 2008) — Two commencement ceremonies will be held on the campus of Florida Southern College on May 3. Two hundred eighty-nine students from the College’s day program will receive diplomas during a graduation ceremony taking place at 1:30 p.m. in the Jenkins Field House. Mark C. Hollis, Sr., past president and former vice chairman of the board of Publix Super Markets, Inc., will deliver the commencement address. A morning ceremony for students from the institution’s evening degree programs in Lakeland, Orlando, and Ocala begins at 10:30 a.m. in Branscomb Auditorium. The Honorable Frank C. Attkisson, a member of the Florida House of Representatives and a Florida Southern graduate, will give the commencement address.
Hollis earned his bachelor's degree from Stetson University and his master's degree from Michigan State University. He has received honorary doctorates from both Stetson University and Florida Southern College. Hollis began his Publix career at age l2 and worked in various positions in the company, including stock clerk, produce manager, store manager, director of personnel, and vice president of public relations and public affairs. In l974, he was elected to the company’s board of directors. In 1984, he was named president of Publix and in 1996 was elected vice chairman of the board. He fully retired from Publix in January of 1999 and continued to serve on the Board of Directors until May 2005, when the board elected him as director emeritus. Hollis serves as an ex-officio member of the board of directors of the Food Marketing Institute, from which he received the distinguished Sidney R. Rabb Award for his contributions to the supermarket industry. He is a current trustee and past chairman of the board of Stetson University. Hollis served on the boards of directors of SunTrust of Florida, Bell South Communications, the Florida Council of 100, and the Lakeland Economic Development Council.
He is chairman emeritus of Florida Tax Watch, which he founded. He was also president of the Rotary Club of Lakeland, District Governor, and has served on several Rotary International Committees. Other board service has included: Lakeland Regional Medical Center, Lakeland Chamber of Commerce, United Way, and the Polk County Council for Economic Education.
Attkisson, a 1977 Florida Southern business management graduate, was elected to the State Legislature in 2000 and serves Osceola, Orange, Okeechobee and Polk counties. He is the chairman of the Education Innovation subcommittee in the House of Representatives, as well as a member of the committees on Education K-20, Education Appropriations, Local Government & Veterans Affairs, Business Regulation, Telecommunications, and Finance and Tax. Attkisson served as mayor of Kissimmee from 1996-2000 and as Kissimmee city commissioner from 1990-1992. He has served on various boards including the Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce and the Eagle Scout Review Committee. He also spends his time in the community coaching a Little League baseball team. He was named “Top Pro-Business Voice in Tallahassee" in 2000 by the Florida United Business Association and “Top Freshman Quick Starters" in the House of Representatives in 2001 by the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
Robert L. Fryer, Jr., chairman of the board of trustees of Florida Southern College and a 1970 graduate, will receive the Doctor of Public Service degree at the afternoon commencement. He has served in a number of senior management positions in the banking and securities industry, first as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Hamilton Bank and its parent, National Central Financial Corporation. In 1983, Fryer joined Hopper Soliday & Co., Inc., a securities firm, serving as its chairman, president, and chief executive officer. He later served as president and chief operating officer of Dauphin Deposit Corporation, a $6-billion bank holding company, until his retirement. He is currently a financial consultant with RBC Dain Rauscher. Fryer serves on the board of directors of Hospice of Lancaster County, Pa., and chairs its investment committee. He holds numerous certifications with the National Association of Securities Dealers and has taught at various schools of banking over the past 25 years. At Florida Southern College, he joined Sigma Chi Fraternity and was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honorary society. He was recognized as a Distinguished Military Graduate of the College’s ROTC program and served in the U.S. Army Reserve and the Pennsylvania National Guard.